The evolution of internet into Web 2.0 gave birth to another term, social media. So, what exactly is social media? It is media that is capable of dissemination through social interaction between its users, wherein the content is created by using freely accessible and highly scalable techniques of publication. The Internet and numerous web based technologies transform the communication on internet from mere interaction between two individuals into a widespread social occurrence, a media dialogue. It is essentially the “democratization” of information and knowledge on the internet, and transforms consumers of content into producers of content.
Social media devices and techniques can take various forms, such as blogs, forums, microblogging sites (Twitter, Jaiku), social networking sites (Facebook, LinkdIn), social bookmarking websites (StumbleUpon, Delicious), wikis (Wikipedia), photography sharing website (Flickr), video sharing websites (YouTube)
Another recent development has been the increasing use of social media for search engine optimization. In fact, the two terms – social media and search engine optimization – have been combined to produce an entirely new term in the marketing lexicon – social media optimization. This new discipline, social media optimization, or SMO in short, seeks to achieve the benefits through social media. Indeed, SMO is the bridge between SEO and social media.
Just as SEO takes into consideration both on-site (internal) factors and off-site (external) factors, social media optimization (SMO) also has two different components – In-content SMO and Off-Content SMO. In-content SMO constitutes the social media features that are embedded in the content itself. These include features like RRS feeds, polls, images and videos from third parties and ‘Share This’ buttons. Off-site SMO includes features such as blogging and commenting on blogs, participating in forums and discussions and use of social networking sites. The term ‘viral marketing’, which has gained such a currency in the field of internet marketing, is nothing but a form of SMO.
How to do SMO For Your Website
SMO, as a matter of fact, shares many of the characteristics of the SEO process. In many cases, what you need to do for good SEO for your website is also what you need to get good fair SMO results. In brief, to get get SMO benefits for your website, you need to take the following steps -
- Add more and more fresh, unique and compelling content, which a lot of people and websites will like to link to. Many gurus like to call this ‘linkbaiting’.
- Create content in different formats – blog posts, podcasts, videos, e-books, white papers.
- Add “Share This’” buttons to your website and/or blog.
- Provide more visibility to blogs/websites that link to your website and content. This is like rewarding those websites that link to you, thus encouraging more inbound links to your website.
- Try to gain a complete understanding of your target audience. This will help you to produce suitable content, which will encourage your target audience to share your ideas.
- Participate actively in the conversations that your content generates.
- Keep it up.
SMO is a a rather new concept, as is social media. The concept will continue to keep evolving over the future, and it will indeed be interesting to monitor its future progress. Whatever may be its outcome, one thing is fairly certain – SMO is an invaluable tool for increasing the visibility and ranking of your website.
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